Steve Morseband – Live 1990- Full Concert56:52

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Published on August 2, 2016

Steve Morse

VIDEO of Steve Morse band – Live 1990-  Full Concert

For other people with the same name, see Steven Morse.
Steve Morse
Steve Morse 2005.jpg
Steve Morse live with Deep Purple in Canada 2005
Background information
Born July 28, 1954 (age 62)
Hamilton, Ohio, United States
Genres Instrumental rock,progressive rock, hard rock,heavy metal, jazz fusion[1]
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass,keyboards, banjo
Years active 1969–present
Associated acts Dixie Dregs, Kansas, Deep Purple, Living Loud,Angelfire, Flying Colors
Website Official web site
Notable instruments
Music Man Steve Morse Signature guitar,Fender Telecaster

Steven J. “Steve” Morse (born July 28, 1954) is an American guitarist and composer, best known as the founder of the Dixie Dregs; and since 1994, the guitar player of Deep Purple. Morse’s career has encompassed rock, country,funk, jazz, classical, and fusion of these musical genres. In addition to his successful solo career, he was briefly a member of Kansas in the mid 1980s.


Steve Morse was born in Hamilton, Ohio. His family soon moved to Tennessee, then Ypsilanti, Michigan, where Morse spent his childhood. Although familiar with piano and clarinet, Morse ultimately became interested in guitar.

Morse worked briefly with his older brother Dave in a band called The Plague until the family moved to Augusta, Georgia. In the late 1960s, he played in a band called Three with his older brother and a junior high schoolmate, William Gerald (Jerry) Wooten, who played keyboards. The three performed at a local psychedelic youth club, The Green Onion, and at Legion Halls and church functions.

While enrolled in the Academy of Richmond County, Morse met bassist Andy West and together they formed the Dixie Grit, adding keyboardist Johnny Carr and guitarist and vocalist Frank Brittingham, with Dave Morse drumming. This short-lived group covered bands such asLed Zeppelin and Cream. West and Morse continued to play as a duet billed as the Dixie Dregs until Morse’s expulsion from school in the 10th grade. This expulsion enabled his enrollment at the University of Miami School of Music.

During the 1970s, the University of Miami played host to a number of future influential musicians, including Bruce Hornsby, Pat Metheny, and Jaco Pastorius. Andy West also enrolled at the University of Miami and, with Morse, drummer Bart Yarnold, keyboardist Frank Josephs and violinist Allen Sloan, collaborated in a lab project entitled Rock Ensemble II. In 1975, the group compiled a recording used for promotional efforts. This recording was eventually released in 1997 as The Great Spectacular.

From late 1987 to early 1988, Morse worked as a commercial airline co-pilot.[2][3]

Dixie Dregs[edit]

Steve Morse, Roxy Theatre, Hollywood, CA 28 August 1999. This was the last concert of the Dixie Dregs‘ tour.

Upon Morse’s graduation from the University of Miami in 1975, he and West officially named their group Dixie Dregs. A fellow University of Miami alumnus, Rod Morgenstein, replaced the injured Bart Yarnold and the band began performing regularly; with some of their own compositions, along with covers of John McLaughlin and southern rock favourites. An increasingly heavier performance schedule eventually led to the attention of Capricorn Recordsrecruiters including Allman Brothers Band manager Twiggs Lyndon and, in late 1976, the group was signed by the southern rock label.[4]

Their first effort for Capricorn, Free Fall, established Morse as an important newcomer to the fusion genre, and he was recognised for both his compositional skills (having written all 11 tracks) and his musicianship. Although receiving positive reviews as a pivotal jazz fusion album, it sold poorly.

What If was released in 1978. Writing credits were more collaborative and the band’s sound had matured into more than what was strictly considered fusion at the time. Southern rock, classical, folk and country elements were combined to form a cohesive and listenable music. Though supported by a tour, record sales remained flat, but gained Morse and the band an invitation to perform at Montreux Jazz Festival on 23 July 1978. The recorded performance was released the following year on Night of the Living Dregs. Capricorn went bankrupt in late 1979, and the Dixie Dregs were left without a label.

Arista Records signed the band in 1979 to record three albums. Production control was handed to Morse, and Dregs of the Earth was released in May 1980. All eight tracks were written by Morse, and the album peaked at number 27 on Billboard‘s Jazz Album Chart.

Arista became increasingly concerned about Dixie Dregs’ album sales and pressured the band to change their name to simply The Dregs in an attempt to increase the band’s visibility in the public eye. Unsung Heroes included eight new Morse compositions in early 1981, but the name change did little to address Arista’s worries. The Dregs felt compelled by label management to add lyrics to their next release, appropriately titled Industry Standard.

Morse’s compositions on Industry Standard began to sound more like his evolving solo work than Dregs’ collaborations, and the album received critical and public praise. Industry Standard was voted “Best Guitar LP” by readers of Guitar Player magazine in their annual reader’s poll that year. Additionally, Morse was voted “Best Overall Guitarist” in the same poll, an honour that he would hold for five consecutive years (which ended his eligibility by retiring him into their “Gallery of Greats”, a distinction shared only by Steve Howe of Yes.) After fulfilling their commitment to Arista, the Dregs’ members, who had tired of touring, disbanded in early 1983.

In the late 1980s, the group reunited for a tour featuring former members Morse, Morgenstein, Lavitz and Sloan. Their return was complemented by a “Best Of” release entitled Divided We Stand. Bassist Dave LaRue completed the line-up for a seven date tour culminating in the 1992 live album Bring ’em Back Alive. Violinist Jerry Goodman, of The Mahavishnu Orchestra fame, filled in for Sloan, who was frequently absent as a result of his medical career. They signed a deal with former label Capricorn Records for their first studio album in years entitledFull Circle in 1994.

Steve Morse Band and Kansas[edit]

After the 1983 breakup of the Dregs, Morse then formed The Steve Morse Band, a trio with bassist Jerry Peek and drummer Doug Morgan (formerly a member of Glass Moon). After the first tour of the eastern United States, Morgan left for previous commitments. Everyone’s choice to replace Morgan (including Doug’s) was Rod Morgenstein. They began recording The Introduction in September. The group toured Germany in early 1984 with Morse conducting clinics, and the group was signed by Elektra Records, who released The Introduction mid-year. A second German tour began in December 1984 and Stand Up was released in 1985. This effort included guest vocalists and guitarists (Eric Johnson, Alex Ligertwood, Peter Frampton, Albert Lee, Van Temple), and violinist Mark O’Connor. He toured with Rush as a main opener on their Power Windows tour.

In 1986, Morse joined the rock group Kansas. While with the band, they released two albums, Power and In the Spirit of Things. While he was with the band, Kansas had its last big hit, “All I Wanted,” which reached the Billboard Top 20 and on which Morse received co-writing credit. Morse left the band after touring behind the latter album. He re-joined the band for part of their 1991 tour.

Deep Purple[edit]

Morse with Deep Purple in 2013.

In 1994, Morse joined the British hard rock group Deep Purple, replacing Ritchie Blackmore (though Joe Satriani replaced Blackmore for part of The Battle Rages On tour). Since then, Morse has played on five studio albumsPurpendicular, Abandon, Bananas, Rapture of the Deep and Now What?!, as well as seven of their live albums.

Living Loud[edit]

In addition to playing with Deep Purple, Morse, together with Jimmy Barnes, Bob Daisley, Lee Kerslake and Don Airey, formed Living Loud in 2003. The group released one studio album and a live DVD in 2004/2005. In Spring 2010 it was reported that Steve Morse and Bob Daisley started work on the new studio album which was set for a release in 2011.


Morse began a collaboration with singer Sarah Spencer in 2007 entitled Angelfire. The album, of the same name, was released on 10 August 2010 on Radiant Records. The album features Dave Larue and Van Romaine of the Steve Morse Band on bass and drums, respectively. The album has a textural, acoustic sound that differs from Morse’s previous work. Angelfire opened for the Steve Morse Band for several shows in California (January) and Florida (March) of 2010.

Flying Colors[edit]

In 2011, Morse formed Flying Colors, an American supergroup composed of Mike Portnoy, Dave LaRue, Casey McPherson and Neal Morse, whose debut eponymous album was released on 26 March 2012, and debuted at No. 9 on Billboard’s Hard Rock chart,[5] and No. 11 on the BBC’s Rock Album charts.[6][7][8] Flying Colors released their second album, Second Nature, in 2014 to critical acclaim.

Influence and technique[edit]

Morse is considered one of the hardest working guitarists in the world.[9] He is widely known for his stylistically diverse compositional skills and was voted “Best Overall Guitarist” by Guitar Player magazine for five years in a row,[10] qualifying him for their “Guitar Player Hall of Fame”, the only other members being Steve Howe of Yes and Eric Johnson. He is regularly cited by John Petrucci as a major influence. Guitarist Shawn Lane regarded Steve Morse as one of the most talented guitarists of his time.[11] Morse has proven himself throughout his career as capable of playing highly complex chord structures in classical sequences, as well as being able to play fast, alternate picked arpeggios. He is well known for using harmonics and improvising them in songs during live performances, such as in Deep Purple’s “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming“.

Gear and equipment[edit]


Throughout the 1980s Morse was using a custom “frankentele” guitar, made up of a Tele body with a Strat neck, a Gibson trapeze-style tailpiece (coming from a twelve string guitar) and four pickups in HSSH configuration. At one time, the guitar had a fifth pickup, a hexaphonic pickup with a separate output for each string; it provided the signal to drive a 360 Systems Spectre guitar synthesizer.[12]

Morse was then approached by Music Man Guitars to create a signature model to his specifications; he is now one of the longest endorsees of the company. In particular he’s been using prototype n°1 of his Steve Morse signature guitar for more than 20 years (the guitar has been refretted eight times). He now has two signature models with MusicMan guitars:

  • The first one is an exact replica of his n°1 guitar which features a poplar body with maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, 4 pickups (a DiMarzio Steve Morse bridge and neck model Humbuckers, and two DiMarzio single coils, a DP 117 and a custom wound Steve Morse single coil in HSSH configuration) volume and tone controls. The switching is also particular: it features a three-way selector that changes between the bridge humbucker, the neck humbucker and the first single coil (aligned with the Bridge Humbucker), a mini switch that adds the bridge pickup to any configuration and a third switch that adds the second, slant single coil to any configuration. This switch also allows for independent single coil selection.
  • The second one, the Steve Morse SM Y-2D, is an updated version with quilted maple top same neck & body, three pickups (the slant single coil has been eliminated) and a 5-way super switch.

Both are available with a stop tail piece or floyd rose bridge.

Steve Morse playing with Flying Colors,013, Tilburg, Netherlands (2012).

Morse has stated that the pickup configurations that he uses the most are the bridge pickup by itself, the neck pickup by itself, the bridge and neck humbuckers together, and the bridge and first (aligned) single coils together.

The super 5-way switch on the newest SM Y2D guitar replicates these combinations.


Morse has released two signature humbuckers with DiMarzio; the DP 205 Neck model and the DP 200 Bridge model. They are evenly balanced to allow playing all over the fretboard, since Morse plays high notes on the neck pickup and low ones on the bridge. They are the main pickups into his signature model. Dimarzio also wires a custom wound single coil pickup for Music Man to use into the SM signture model.


Morse is an endorser of ENGL amps. He has released a signature model, the ENGL E-656 Steve Morse signature Amplifier. It is a three channel amp specially designed by Morse with a custom version of the famous ENGL “midrange matrix”. In the past he used Peavey 5150 amps with Deep Purple, Marshall Jubilee, Peavey VTM 120 and Ampeg V4.

Live setup[edit]

Morse’s live equipment includes two ENGL E 656 Signture heads and several Music Man guitars (both models), his #1 still being his favorite. He splits up his signal to six different cabinets; four dry (without any FX) and two wet (with FX). He uses three Ernie Ball expression pedals to blend the fx into the mix. He uses a custom skrydstrup switching system to perform all the switching and the blending. His FX are very simple, consisting only of a Boss OC-3 Octaver and two delays: Electro-Harmonix Memory Man now replaced with the newest TC Electronic FlashBack TonePrint delay (Morse has created custom presets). He is also using a TC Electronic Polytune Mini guitar tuner. His live setup for Deep Purple is discussed by him for Premier Guitar magazine’s Rig Rundown.[13]


with Dixie Dregs[edit]


  • 1976 Cruise Control/Refried Funky Chicken/Cosmpolitan Traveler (self-released)
  • 1978 Take It Off The Top/Little Kids
  • 1979 Punk Sandwich/Country House Shuffle
  • 1980 Pride O’ The Farm/The Great Spectacular
  • 1981 Cruise Control/Go For Baroque
  • 1982 Crank It Up/Bloodsucking Leeches

Live albums[edit]

  • 1992 Bring ‘Em Back Alive
  • 1997 King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Dixie Dregs
  • 2000 California Screamin’
  • 2008 Live in Connecticut (with Cruise Control DVD)
  • 2015 Wages Of Weirdness (cd)/Travel Tunes (download) (1978 radio broadcast from KWFM in Tucson AZ, recorded at Lee Furr’s Studios)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • 1987 The Best of The Dixie Dregs
  • 1989 The Best of the Dregs: Divided We Stand
  • 2002 20th Century Masters: The Best Of The Dixie Dregs
  • 2003 Dixie Dregs: Greatest Hits Live

with Steve Morse Band and solo[edit]

with Kansas[edit]

Main article: Kansas discography

with Deep Purple[edit]

Live albums[edit]

with Living Loud[edit]

  • 2003 Living Loud (US: 2004)
  • 2005 Live In Sydney 2004 (2CD/DVD)

with Angelfire[edit]

with Flying Colors[edit]

Guest appearances with other artists[edit]

Various artists compilations and tributes[edit]

  • 1978 Hotels, Motels And Road Shows (various artists compilation)
  • 1982 Radio 1 Rock Show themes (themes from English radio shows)
  • 1985 Arista’s Greatest AOR Hits: Portrait Of A Decade 1975-1985 (various artists compilation)
  • 1989 Guitar’s Practicing Musicians (various artists compilation)
  • 1990 Ski Patrol (movie soundtrack)
  • 1990 Metal Guitars (various artists compilation)
  • 1991 Guitar’s Practicing Musicians Vol. 2 (various artists compilation)
  • 1991 Guitar Speak 3 (various artists compilation)
  • 1992 Rock Guitar Greats (various artists compilation)
  • 1992 Guitar On The Edge Vol. 2 (various artists compilation)
  • 1992 Album Network Rock Tune Up 84 (various artists compilation)
  • 1994 A Little On The CD Side Volume 14 (Musician magazine’s new music sampler)
  • 1994 Album Network Rock Tune Up 118 (various artists compilation)
  • 1994 The Capricorn Sampler Volume One (various artists compilation)
  • 1995 Tales From Yesterday (various artists tribute to Yes)
  • 1995 A Little On The CD Side Volume 17 (Musician magazine’s new music sampler)
  • 1996 Crossfire – A Tribute To Stevie Ray (various artists tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan)
  • 1996 Working Man (various artists tribute to Rush)
  • 1996 The Carols Of Christmas (various artist compilation)
  • 1996 Animal Magnetism (various artists PETA benefit compilation)
  • 1997 The Carols Of Christmas II (various artisst compilation)
  • 1997 Merry Axemas – A Guitar Christmas (various artists compilation)
  • 1997 Jazz Fusion Vol. 2 (various artists compilation)
  • 1997 aLIVE Down South (various artists Southern Rock compilation)
  • 1997 Candlelight Moments: Dreamscape (various artists compilation)
  • 1997 Healing Renew – Music in Harmony (various artists compilation)
  • 1997 The Roots Of Rock: Southern Rock (various artists compilation)
  • 1998 Guitar Battle (various artists compilation)
  • 1998 The Show That Never Ends (various artists compilation)
  • 1999 Legends Of Rock: The Progressive Rockers (various artists compilation)
  • 1999 Tribute to the Titans (various artists compilation)
  • 1999 Southern Rock Greats (various artists compilation)
  • 1999 The Best Of Progressive Rock (various artists compilation)
  • 1999 Rock Guitarists Forever Best (various artists compilation)
  • 1999 Southern Rock Essentials (various artists compilation)
  • 2001 Warmth In The Wilderness – A Tribute To Jason Becker (various artists tribute to Jason Becker)
  • 2001 Sonic Residue From Vapourspace (Magna Carta remix album featuring the Morse song Led On)
  • 2001 Guitar Heroes – Steve Morse Best (Dixie Dregs/Steve Morse Band/Kansas/Lynyrd Skynyrd/Deep Purple compilation)
  • 2001 Audio’s Audiophile Vol. 16: Rock And Grooves (various artists compilation)
  • 2001 Unitone Guitar Series – A Portrait For Strings (various artists compilation)
  • 2002 Southern Rock Christmas (various artists compilation)
  • 2004 Classical Heartbreakers (various artists compilation)
  • 2005 Visions of an Inner Mounting Apocalypse (various artists tribute to Mahavishnu Orchestra)
  • 2005 Back Against The Wall (various artists tribute to Pink Floyd‘s The Wall)
  • 2006 The Royal Dan: A Tribute (various artists instrumental guitar tribute to Steely Dan, featuring a different lead guitarist on 10 different songs)
  • 2007 Freeway Jam – To Beck And Back – A Tribute (various artist tribute to Jeff Beck)
  • 2008 Led Box – The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Tribute (various artists tribute to Led Zeppelin)
  • 2008 We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year (various artists compilation)
  • 2009 Abbey Road – A Tribute To The Beatles (various artists tribute to The Beatles)
  • 2009 An All-Star Salute To Christmas (various artists compilation)
  • 2010 Tooth Fairy (movie soundtrack)
  • 2012 Classic Rock Presents Prog – Prognosis 2.3 (various artists compilation)
  • 2012 The Spirit Of Radio (various artists compilation)
  • 2012 Songs Of The Century – An All-Star Tribute To Supertramp (various artists tribute to Supertramp)
  • 2013 Fly Like An Eagle – An All-Star Tribute To Steve Miller Band (various artists tribute to Steve Miller Band)
  • 2014 Midnight Rider – A Tribute To The Allman Brothers Band (various artists tribute to The Allman Brothers Band
  • 2014 Light My Fire: A Classic Rock Salute to the Doors (various artists tribute to The Doors)
  • 2015 The Classic Rock Society Presents… New Species Volume 21 (various artists compilation)
  • 2015 Southern Rock Christmas (various artists compilation)
  • 2016 Steve Morse – The Sessions (mp3 download compilation with tracks featuring Steve and various artists, which appeared on several different tribute albums before)

Other appearances[edit]

  • 1984 companion LP with Debüt magazine (Germany) February 1984
  • 1993 Lexicon demonstration CD
  • 1995 Free Wave Jam – Advance Micro Devices sound card promo CD with MIDI music files
  • 1997 companion CD with Fingerstyle Guitar magazine #25 (with songs described in magazine)
  • 1999 companion CD with Guitar Techniques magazine April 1999 (with songs described in magazine)


  1. Jump up^ Steve Huey The Dixie Dregs. Allmusic
  2. Jump up^ “Steve Morse: Unsung hero”. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  3. Jump up^ “ Guitar Player, March 1988”. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  4. Jump up^ “The Official Website | Guitar Player for Deep Purple, The Dixie Dregs, and The Steve Morse Band”. Steve Morse. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  5. Jump up^ “Flying Colors Debuts in Billboard’s Top-10 Hard Rock Albums”. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  6. Jump up^ “Flying Colors still at #11 on UK Charts”. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  7. Jump up^ “Flying Colors | The Official Website of Flying Colors: Casey McPherson, Steve Morse, Dave LaRue, Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy”. 2013-12-28. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  8. Jump up^ “All Media Reviews: Flying Colors – Flying Colors (2012)”. 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  9. Jump up^ Perry, Shawn (13 June 2002). “Steve Morse: The Hardest Working Guitarist In Show Business”. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  10. Jump up^ “The Steve Morse Discobiography”. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  11. Jump up^ “John Petrucci”. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  12. Jump up^ Obrecht, Jas. “Steve Morse: The Complete 1978 Dixie Dregs Interview”. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  13. Jump up^ “Rig Rundown: Deep Purple’s Steve Morse”. Premier Guitar. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.

External links[edit]

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